Recently, while scrolling through my daily go-to for witty and sometimes enlightening philosophy, I came across an interesting statement. Contrary to the usual "woe is me", "hey look over here, I need validation!"-esque posts, this post was intriguing. It resonated with me. It read, "Being a mother while trying to repair myself mentally and emotionally is the hardest task I've ever taken on." I could immediately feel the depth of that statement.
I began to recall the rollercoaster of events occurring during my own self-discovery journey while being a mom. Let me tell you, it wasn't easy. At all! In my new book, POWER, I discuss my journey and how it led to my need for this mental and emotional healing in the first place. More than that, I take readers through my journey of healing and repair.
Although, this was a self-discovery journey which required most of the work to be personal, internal labor that I had to do alone, there were more times than I care to admit that I believed I couldn't do it at all, let alone... alone. "God, where are you. Do you see this?" was often how I started my negotiations with God. That usually ended with me laying in my sacred space, puffy-faced and red-eyed, wondering how I ended up in whatever catastrophic, emotionally charged tale of defeat I'd successfully convinced myself that I was in the middle of. In every one of those moments, when I was expecting God to show up, it was always a close friend who came through for me and helped me find my way. It was then that I fully understood that within those friends, there was God working through them, as them to provide to me what I needed the most.
In a vintage interview with Barbara Walters, Oprah Winfrey shared the value of her relationship with best friend, Gayle King. "She is the mother I never had, the sister everybody would want, the friend everybody deserves... the therapy that I didn't have and that I don't need." While I was overwhelmed with emotion (hell, even Oprah was crying) and happy for Oprah to have that support in such a loving friendship, it made me a little sad. I'm sure that could be accredited to my not so "lit" social life these days, feeling like I'm transitioning through different relationships in my life that I was sure would be long-lasting. At a time where trying to maintain my own sanity and still be the hero that my daughter affectionately calls "Mommy", you can imagine the amount of support that is needed. However, as I remember my darkest moments, the scariest memories, there was always a feminine energy present to nurture and console me like a mother. I have always had a girlfriend to confide in when the burden of secrecy was too much to bear alone. I could her trust like a sister to never dishonor the loyalty between us. I've always had the friend who made me laugh when all I wanted to do was cry (and because she was also the friend to bring wine, laughing was inevitable by the end of our visits together). Even in times when there was no one physically there, I knew that something within me was there listening.
To summarize, it's cool to have a group of friends to hang out and party with, but it's a completely different thing to have those friends who can love and support you even when the entire world seems to be against you. I used to think I wanted a clique of female friends mimicking the friendships as seen on Sex and the City and Girlfriends. However, as I continue to repair myself, I realize that all I need is God and a Gayle.
We've all been there. You meet someone and you feel this undeniable chemistry. You get excited, thinking to yourself, "This is it!" You tell your closest friends and family and just when you're about to pick the floral arrangements for your wedding, reality sets in. This isn't going to work! Back to the drawing board, right? You begin rapidly flipping through your playbook wondering where you went wrong. You pull out your "list" and begin checking off the things that you once believed you wanted in a suitable mate. You start to doubt yourself. You shift your perspective from seeking what you want, to what you need. Time is ticking as the sand in this invisible hour glass you've assimilated in your mind begins to flow. In an attempt to reach the finish line in this race to love, you get desperate and start the process all over again only to end up in the same situation again and again and again and again.
You see, the issue isn't that you haven't found the "right one", the issue is that you're looking in all the wrong places. Too often, we look for the "perfect" mate to compliment us, complete us and to give us this validation that we think being in a relationship provides us based on societal views and opinion. We think that somehow us being in a relationship strips away our flaws and instantly causes our deeply rooted issues to dissipate because now we are "perfect enough" for another to love us.
But that couldn't be further from the truth. According to the law of attraction, we attract what we are, not what we want. We attract what we are ready for. In other words, if you are broken and incomplete, you will only attract that back to you. It's like looking into a mirror, you will only see a reflection of what you put in front of it. Although you may want the idea of your perfect mate, you must ask yourself," Am I ready?" Are you the equivalent to what you're seeking? For instance, if you are seeking a mate who is financially well off, but you're head over heels in debt, I can assure you, you are going to run into some issues in the financial department within your relationship. You cannot fulfill another person's deficiencies with your own. I want you to really think about that.
More often than not, that is where we make our mistakes in the dating game. We lead with our strong points, as we should, but we neglect the things we as individuals need to work on in terms of our personal growth and development, but most importantly, our healing. I am in no way saying that you shouldn't date, however, I am strongly encouraging you to examine yourself in every area of your life. We'll call this, "taking a selfie". Ask yourself, "Am I a mirror image of what I desire in my future mate?" Check your spirit. Check your heart. Check your mind. And yes, even check your wallet! Ha! In all seriousness, my desire for you is that you do your work and that you truly "heal before you deal". When we are in the phase of our lives where it seems time is running out and we start to get anxious thinking that we'll never find "the one" it is then that we need to shift our focus to actually being the one... for ourselves. Take the time to discover and date yourself and before you dive heart-first into a serious relationship, be sure that you're ready. When in doubt, it's okay to stop and say to yourself, "but first, let me take a selfie".